Public Relations Lessons from Popular Movies

Public Relations encompasses so much information, and, as a future practitioner, I am looking for potential lessons constantly in order to advance my professionalism. One of the most unexpected and interesting sources of great public relations lessons come from classic films, both past and modern.

  1. “Split”

A very popular movie that has recently entered theaters is “Split.” This film tells the story of a man who has 27 different personalities. A lesson to be taken from the film is to have a consistent image with your public. If an organization sends inconsistent messages to their public, it not only comes off as unprofessional, but also confusing. Needless to say, stay consistent in your messaging.

  1. “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

One of my favorite movies is “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” which is on the main character skipping school and having a day of adventure. In the movie, everyone at school misses him and begins a fundraiser to get him back to health. Ferris is the perfect example of a seemingly effortless, perfect image to the public. An organization should strive to have an image as beloved and well-known as Ferris’ in his high school.

  1. “Titanic”

A more modern classic is “Titanic,” which is a romantic drama about a couple that fall in love on the ill-fated ship. This tragedy cost so many people their lives due to of a lack of lifeboats. This movie shows the importance of being properly prepared for any scenario; so when a public relations crisis inevitably occurs, you are ready to salvage the organization’s image as quickly as possible.

  1. “The Wizard of Oz”

One of the most popular movies of all-time is the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz,” which is about four unique and unlikely allies working together to find the Great Oz. This applies to public relations because each person on an organization’s public relations team has a specific personality and role, and when the team comes together and works as one great things can be accomplished. Instead of finding the Wizard of Oz and defeating an evil witch, a public relations team may work together to accomplish more feasible goals towards planning events and promoting their client.

  1. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

One of the most well-known and highest-grossing film series in history is the “Star Wars” series, which has been recently re-vamped after being purchased by Disney. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is centered around the character Rey, portrayed by actress Daisy Ridley. Rey is on a journey to find her family she lost long ago. The movie was well-received by critics, and displays the importance of a public relations professions being loyal and passionate about the organization in which they are working for.

Public relations is a fun and interesting career field that includes different aspects of fundraising, promotions, event-planning and design. The field is broad enough to be learned about in even unexpected ways, such as classic films.


Grace Hutchison is a freshman public relations and digital design major at Waynesburg University. She is the Fundraising Chair for Waynesburg University PRSSA, the Social Media and Special Events Editor for the Mad Anthony Yearbook, a Staff Writer for the Yellow Jacket newspaper and is involved in AIGA and Red Brick Communications.

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